Immediately I could tell that just by reading the first page of chapter 1 Bergley’s Bombshell, was a huge slap in the face for anyone who looked up to scientists. Who saw them as people who always searched for the truth and found solutions to make the world a better place. I’ve always heard people say,”It’s science, it can’t be wrong.” I grew up believing that because someone as smart as a scientist stated something, then it must be a fact. Unfortunately I was faced with the sad truth that our current biomedical research is deeply flawed. I was shocked by multiple things, professionals wasting millions of dollars was one thing, but also the statement,”Sometimes the scientist has unconsciously willed the data to tell a story that’s not in fact true. Occasionally there is outright fraud.”-pg 1. I couldn’t believe someone would want to commit fraud, especially towards something that is so important it could save lives. I became curious and decided to look into how common fraud in the biomedical research field really was. I found hundreds of articles on multiple topics such as, why is there fraud in the field in the first place, so and so accused of fraud, so and so was convicted of fraud, the list goes on. I found one interesting article on a man named Dong-Pyou Han.
This scientist was found guilty of creating false information put into reports for HIV vaccine trials. He sentenced to 3 years in prison and fined $7.2 million. All the “research” the was conducted was all wasted due to this man trying to cover up the fact that he had a sample mix-up.
As I continued to read the chapter I came across this,”Of the fifty-three original exciting studies that Begley put to the test, he reproduce just six.”-pg 9 Begley who was hoping to find new drugs for pharmaceutical companies through “amazing” reports, he unfortunately found that most of which were unreliable. If such studies that seemed to be breakthroughs were actually disappointments, then what other articles and reports that we see today give us false information? “Begley said one of the studies he couldn’t reproduce has been cited more than 2000 times by other researchers, who have been building on or at least referring to it. without actually validating the underlying result.”-pg 13. This would mean even more money is being wasted towards studies that are bound to fail in the long run.
If I were any of those researchers I would’ve definitely made sure to at least cross check my references. No one can ever be too careful. Overall everything in this chapter just makes me even more concerned for our future generations.